The strengths of AS-Interface technology are well known throughout factory automation. In addition to the low installation costs and flexible expandability, users appreciate the simple assembly and easy configuration of these systems.
One of the few remaining challenges is the setup of larger groups of I/O inside switch cabinets and junction boxes, according to officials at Pepperl+Fuchs. Trying to manage and organize wiring within a limited installation space is a headache, they emphasize.
Pepperl+Fuchs’ E5 switch cabinet modules are the newest members of its AS-Interface cabinet module family. A proprietary housing design reportedly permits distinct visibility and simplifies mounting, wiring, and maintenance inside switch cabinets and junction boxes. Analog and digital versions are available.
Almost all AS-Interface modules feature spring and screw terminals that are positioned on the top and bottom of the module. The KE5 takes a different approach: connection points are located on the front and are simply pushed into the module. The push-in connection at the front and individual plug-in terminals make installation quick and straightforward. Cables are quickly plugged-in and guided towards a single cable duct.
The KE5 simplifies mounting and removal of the connectors organizes the switch cabinet and opens up additional installation space. With connection at the front of the device, modules can be mounted flush on the upper edge of the switch box or cabinet. Together with the narrow KE5 housing, <19 mm, space savings can exceed 50%. A clearly colored allocation of clamps for AS-Interface, AUX and analog sensors and actuators simplifies installation and avoids mis-wired installation of the KE5 analog modules. The hinged, half-transparent front cover is designed to maintain at-a-glance I/O status even when open, provide a label for unmistakable I/O association, and cleverly route the cables so they can be bundled for a clean and organized cabinet.
For diagnostic and maintenance tasks, the modules feature an intelligent display with backlit I/O identification and status-indication LEDs. It provides distinct I/O association, even in dark environments. Dual color LEDs are used to indicate output overload on a channel-specific basis.
In addition to the innovative housing and cover design, the KE5 brings internal advantages. The terminal contacts for AS-Interface and AUX, which are internally bridged, achieve a full 10 A, eliminating cumbersome double-wire-end ferrules at terminal points. With an easily accessible switch, users can opt for sensor supply internally from AS-Interface or externally through AUX. The digital modules include a functional safe separation of both supply methods.
KE5 analog modules evaluate power and voltage. Either actuators or transmitters can be connected and controlled by voltage or power. In addition, a mixed-mode operation is possible. This increases flexibility during machine planning and opens up more installation space in switch cabinets. The KE5 analog modules are easily switched via jumper to power or voltage, or alternatively via an AS-i parameter bit. Their specially designed mechanical and electrical housing reduces heat build-up and allows an extended temperature range of -25° to 70°C. The KE5 analog modules’ good temperature compensation ensures precise signal quality during process control.
Analog or digital versions of the AS-Interface KE5 switch cabinet modules are designed for AS-Interface users who want easy handling, flexible technology, and cost efficiency.